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英汉互译散文108篇 第83期:My Average Uncle 艾默大叔——一个普普通通的人

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My Average Uncle艾默大叔——一个普普通通的人Robert P. Tristram Coffin罗伯特·P.T.科芬He stood out splendidly above all my uncles because he did not stand out at all. That was his distinction. He was the averagest man I ever knew.在我众多的叔叔大爷中,他是最突出的一个,原因就在于他从不突出自己。这就是他与众不同之处。他是我见过的最普通的人。You would never pick him out in a crowd. He became just another man the minute he was in one. So many more pounds of man. Good solid pounds,but just pounds. You would never remember his hair or his chin, or the shape of his ears. If he said something, you would agree with it, and, an hour later, you would be sure you had said it yourself.他在人群里一点也不显眼。他一混人人海就和周围的人没什么两样了,他长得敦敦实实,体重超过常人许多磅,但也仅此而已。你永远也想不起他头发是什么颜色,他的下巴、耳朵是什么样子。如果他说些什么,你会表示同意,过一个小时,你会觉得这话就是你自己说的。Sometimes I think men like that get along about the best . They are the easiest on their houses, their wives, and their children. They are easiest on the world. They slide along without having to do anything about it as small boys do on their breeches after they have slid on them enough to wear them down smooth. The world is all so much pine needles under them.有时我想,正是这种人才活得轻松自在。他们对住房、对妻子、对儿女总是那么宽宏大量,从不挑剔。他们是世界上最宽容的人。他们总是那么顺其自然地活着,从不为任何事情操心,就像小孩子坐滑梯把裤裆磨破了也不在乎。这个世界就像铺在身子底下的松针一样,柔软舒适。Uncle Amos was easy on his wives and children. He had three of them, in all. Wives, I mean. I never did get the count of his children straight, there were too many assortments of them. Three wives. It seemed surprising to me at the time. With all the trouble I had, myself, having to stand on my head and work my legs, or bung stones at cherrybirds, to keep the attention of just one girl for a month. I often wondered how Uncle Amos, who never stood on his head or whittled out even a butterpat, could attract so many women as he did. Wlth hair a little thin on his head, and legs that could not possibly do more than three and a half miles an hour on the road, there he was with three families behind him. Of course, he had the families spaced. The wives of Uncle Amos did not come all at once. They were drawn out . One batch of children grew pretty well up by the time the next batch hove insight, waddling and falling on thek faces-to save their hands-as waddling children do.艾默大叔对妻子儿女和和气气。他总共有三个。我是说他有三个妻子。我从来数不准他到底有多少孩子,他们太多了。而且各种各样。居然有三个妻子。那时我觉得这太不可思议了。因为我在这方面吃过不少苦头。我曾经使出全身本领:拿大顶、兔子蹦、投石打鸟,好不容易才使一个女孩注意我一个月。我真不明白,艾默大叔从不拿大顶,甚至连一个黄油球也削不出来,居然能吸引那么多女人。他头发有点稀疏,两条腿一小时走不了十里半路,就这样一个人,一生居然有过三拨家小。当然啦,艾默大叔三房妻子之间都隔着一段时间,不是同时娶来的,而是一个接着一个。一拨孩子已经长大,另一拨才呱呱落地。他们蹒跚地走路,常常脸朝下跌倒在地,也不知用手去撑——小孩子学走路都是这样。I knew my Bible, especially the marital parts, in which I took deep interest. I had read the Bible through many times under the eye of one particular aunt. I knew a lot about matrimony from that. But Uncle Amos had me puzzled. He had broken no commandments. All his marriages were open and aboveboard. He wasn't like the patriarchs who didn't always wait for one wife to go before another came. Yet Uncle Amos's status and his children's status were rather complicated.我对圣经很熟,对有关婚娶的章节尤感兴趣。在一位爱挑剔的姑妈监督之下曾多次诵读圣经,从中学到许多有关婚姻的清规戒律。但艾默大叔却令我困惑。他没有触犯任何一条戒规,每次结婚都是公开的,光明正大的,不像那些道貌岸然的人,妻子还好好的,就又勾搭上了别的女人。然而艾默大叔的情况和他的孩子们的情况却颇为复杂。The women must have been drawn to him because he was so muchlike whatan average fair husband would seem to a woman to be.女人迷恋他,一定是因为在她们的心目中他十分接近一个普通模范丈夫的形象。This man made no flourishes to attract anybody. He never drove a fast horse. He never wore trousers with checks any larger than an inch square-which,for the time, was conservative. His house never got afire and burned downjust after the fire insurance had run out. Not one of his boys and girls got drowned or run over by the steamcars. The few that died growing died of diphtheria or scarlet fever, which were what children died of then, the usual ways.他这个人从不哗众取宠。他没骑过快马,裤子上的方格从不超过一英寸——这在当时已是相当保守的了。他的房手也从未在火灾保险刚过期就失火烧塌过。他的众多子女中也没有一个落水溺死或死于车祸的。几个夭折的,不是死于白喉就是死于猩红热,那时许多孩子都得这种病死的,十分常见。Uncle Amos never had a fight.艾默大叔从未打过架。Uncle Amos never lost a pocket-book. At least not one with much money in it.艾默大叔从未丢过钱包,至少没丢过里面装有很多钱的钱包。Uncle Amos never went even as far as Boston. 艾默大叔甚至连波士顿那么远的地方都没去过。But there he was, never making much money, but with all the comforts of home around him, eating his stewed eels, sitting in his galluses out in the orchard in the cool of the evening, with a plump baby to climb up in his lap,whenever he felt like having a baby on his lap and had his old trousers on and didn't care much what happened to him. There he was, shingling his house only when it got to leaking so it put the kitchen fire out. Drinking a little ale now and then, when he came by it easy. No big hayfields to worryabout. No wife that craved more than one new dress a year, and that one she generally ran up herself on her sewing machine. One best pair of trousers to his name, which the moths got into, but not so deep but what they could be healed up with a needle. Not many books to excite him and keep him awake nights, or put ideas into his head and make him uneasy. No itch ever spreading out upon him to go out and take the world by its horns .There he was, in clover!然而就是这样一个人,从未挣过大钱,却尽情享受着家的舒适温馨,吃着炖鳗鱼,穿着背带裤,凉爽的黄昏,坐在果园里。想抱孩子时,便有个胖娃娃爬到膝头上来,穿的是旧裤子,所以不怕孩子糟蹋。他就是这样一个人,屋顶漏雨,厨房里的火都快浇灭了他才去修。要是啤酒来得容易,偶尔也喝上一杯。没有大块干草场要他操心。妻子也从不吵着一年要两件新衣服,就是那一件,还是她亲自动手,用缝纫机做的。在他的名下只有一条像样的裤子,还让蛀虫蛀了,但并不严重,三针两线就可补好。没有几本书使他激动不已,彻夜难眠,或是把各种思想塞进他的脑袋里,使他坐立不安。没有难以抑制的渴望在内心泛滥,使他离开家门去闯世界。他就是这样一个人,日子过得舒舒服服,,安安逸逸!Amos was a Republican. But then, most everybody around was. It was an average condition. Uncle Amos didn't have much to do except carry a torchlight when the Republican Presidents got elected, as they did regularly. And if Uncle Amos got grease on him, it never was very much grease, and his current wife took it out of him with her hot iron. Politics passed him by.Great events passed him by. And big taxes.艾默是共和党人,不过那时周围的人,哪个不是?当时的情形就是这样。艾默大叔倒也没干过什么,不过是在共和党人当选总统时,举举火把而已(这是他们的惯例)。如果他衣服沾上了油脂,也总是不太严重,他当时的妻子会用热熨斗帮他去掉。政治和他不沾边,大事没他的份儿,巨额税款也轮不到他的头上。But we nephews did not pass him by. We were strangely drawn to him. Especially when some of our specialist uncles wore us down with their crankiness and difference. I spent some of the quietest Sundays of my life in Uncle Amos's yard, lying under apple trees and listening to bees and not listeningto Uncle Amos who was bumbling away at something he did not expect me to listen to at all.And caterpillars came suddenly down on fine wires shining like gold, and hit Uncle Amos on his bald spot, and he brushed them off and went on bumbling. The heat was a burden, and the apple blossoms fell to pieces and drifted down on me, and I could see the roof of the world over the black twigs they came from. These were my solidest hours of pure being. I did not have to do anything to live up to this quiet, friendly man. He did not expect me to stand on my head and show off, or go after his pipe, or keep the flies from lighting on his bald spot. And he always had lemon drops somewhere deep in his roomy pockets? fore or aft, and he liked to give them to me.但我们这些侄子们却没有忽略他,反而被他紧紧地吸引住,特别是在我们那些当专家的叔叔们用他们的古怪脾气和意见分歧搞得我们不耐烦的时候。我的一生中,有许多宁静的星期天都是在艾默大叔的果园里度过的。躺在苹果树下,耳边响着蜜蜂的嗡嗡声,无须用心去听艾默大叔永无休止的唠叨。他也完全没有要我听的意思。毛毛虫拖着金光闪闪的细丝掉下来,打在艾默大叔的秃顶上。他挥挥手把虫子弹掉,又继续唠叨下去。暑热难当,苹果花纷纷扬扬落在我的身上花儿落了,透过黑乎乎的枝条可以看见高悬的苍穹。这是我生活中最充实的时刻,我无须着意做什么来取悦这位安详的老人。他也不指望我拿大顶炫耀宜己,或跑腿为他取烟斗,或为他赶走秃顶上的苍蝇。他的宽大的前后农袋里总是装着柠檬糖,而且十分乐意送给我吃。The only trouble Uncle Amos had in his life was after he had got through with it. When they came to bury him, they could not fix it so he could lie next to all his three women. He had liked them all equally well. But there was not enough of Uncle Amos to go round. So they put him on the end of the row.艾默大叔一生中遇到的唯一麻烦是在他走完了生命的旅途之后。为他下葬时人们怎么也想不出办法把他同时和三个女人并排埋在一起。生前这三个女人他都爱,而艾默大叔却只有一个,没法平均分给三个女人,只好把他埋在那一排坟的最后。Uncle Amos did not mind, I am sure. I am sure he sleeps average well. 一我相信艾默大叔是不会介意的,我也相信他会和平时睡得同样的香甜。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
fever ['fi:və]
想一想再看
n. 发烧,发热,狂热
v. (使)发烧,(使
 
fell [fel]
想一想再看
动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v
联想记忆
except [ik'sept]
想一想再看
vt. 除,除外
prep. & conj.
联想记忆
orchard ['ɔ:tʃəd]
想一想再看
n. 果园
 
current ['kʌrənt]
想一想再看
n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的
联想记忆
pine [pain]
想一想再看
n. 松树,松木
vi. 消瘦,憔悴,渴望
联想记忆
slide [slaid]
想一想再看
vi. 滑,滑动,滑入,悄悄地溜走
vt. 使
 
kitchen ['kitʃin]
想一想再看
n. 厨房,(全套)炊具,灶间
 
insurance [in'ʃuərəns]
想一想再看
n. 保险,保险费,安全措施
联想记忆
needle ['ni:dl]
想一想再看
n. 针
vt. 用针缝,激怒,嘲弄
 

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